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What Kids Can Do With Their Pumpkin After Halloween

Wondering what the kids can do with the pumpkin they carved now that Halloween is over? How about turning it into a house? No magic wand or witch spell needed. Just the magic of nature.

Mousekin's Golden HouseOnce Halloween is finished, kids can also put their jack-o-lantern outside in a corner of the yard or a wooded area. Sometimes, small animals like mice can use the hollowed gourd as a home. In the wonderfully illustrated story, Mousekin’s Golden House, by Edna Miller, a little mouse makes a den inside a jack-o-lantern after Halloween where he sleeps inside all snug and warm, protected while the fall wind and winter snow blow outside. The story also shows other animals looking for homes in the mud around the pond.

pumpkin after HalloweenEven though a jack-o-lantern has a face or other design, it’s still a part of nature and nature has lots of ways to reuse and recycle. Pumpkins make good compost that will nourish a garden next spring for planting the seeds saved from them. A whole cycle from seed to pumpkin to seed.

Nature and science need to be part of children’s ordinary experiences and not separated. They are not subjects that kids learn about at school, rather, they are part of daily life. Basic knowledge of science and nature will form the foundation for all kinds of learning. A connection to nature supports emotional and mental development in children,

recycled pumpkinThinking about what to do with the pumpkin, asking questions, and talking about possible solutions are also a great way for kids to use language. They practice problem-solving and may have some imaginative and creative suggestions of their own. You can also discuss other ideas with kids and get their reaction. Could a jack-o-lantern be used to grow flowers? What might happen to the dirt and the water? Could it be saved until next year? What might happen to it in the meantime?

Halloween might be over, but the pumpkin still has some learning and fun to share. What do you do with the pumpkin at your house?

Carve a Pumpkin Fairy House (or Superhero Fort)

Have you heard of a pumpkin fairy house before? I hadn’t until recently, but a fairy house is a delightful change from a jack-o-lantern. Not all children are particularly interested in fairies, but most kids have small plastic or wood figurines in their toy box. A pumpkin could also be a house for LEGO people, or superheros, or small animals. It could be a barn or a secret hideout just as easily as a fairy house. What kind of pumpkin house would your child like to make?Continue Reading

Pumpkin and Pin Fine Motor Fun

For a play-of-the-day, here is a fine motor or small muscle activity that needs 1 pumpkin, lots of push pins, and a pair of small hands. For this activity, you will need a small handful of push pins. Kids get to stick the pins right into the pumpkin. This activity will be easier for some kids than others because these muscles need strengthening and coordinating but it’s fun to do. Did the pumpkin change into a colorful hedgehog?Continue Reading

Sponge Paint Halloween Pumpkin Jack-o-Lantern

There are so many wonderful Halloween ideas at this time of year and this sponge-painted jack-o-lantern craft from ArstyMomma.com looks easy to do and a treat for some learning fun. The materials needed are simple: either a paper plate or fairly thick round circle, orange paint, a bit of green paper for a stem, and black or yellow paper for the face. Oh, and glue or tape. Artsy Momma’s munchkin used a bit of loofah, but a square bit from another sponge would also work. Paint dabbers are another option.Continue Reading

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